As I commented on Kelly's Place yesterday, my parents told work-related stories during and lingering over the dinner table. It was my favorite time of the day, so here are a couple that are high on the memory bank.
Occupation: High School nurse.
One day, a kid came into the health center, looking rather embarassed.
"Can I talk to you in private, Mrs. Mac?"
"Sure." Mom led him into the inner office. "What seems to be the problem?"
He looked around nervously, put his hand on his crotch, and whispered, "My Gentiles hurt!"
Mom managed to keep her composure, and calmly told him to go into the boys' bathroom (she had 2 rooms...one for each gender...the girls' room had about 11 beds, the boys' only 3!) and to drop his pants, and she'd be in to check on him. When he left the room, she closed the door and doubled over with laughter!
Occupation: Utilities Mgr at Frito-Lay
I really don't remember any stories, but when the plant opened, they held a special Open House, and the visitors were given paper hats to wear. Dad brought home the official ball caps for us to wear, and I soon discovered the power of looking official and acting like you belonged.
The Visitor's line through the plant stretched around the perimeter, so people could watch the chips being sorted and bagged. For some reason, I was told to return to the lobby (I don't remember why), and instead of fighting my way back through the line, I ducked under the rope and took the shortest route across the room! Nobody questioned me; I had my official ball cap and was rapidly walking toward the exit! When I was finished with my errand, the devil got a hold of me and I repeated the act...again, no questions! Not even when I briefly paused beside one of the packers to get a closer look!
Occupation: Operating Engineer (the guy everyone yells at March-November because his machine is blocking the lane you think you need to be in, or has torn up the lane! He's actually improving the road to make you safer as you drive! Don't yell at him or try to run him off the road...News Flash...your car is no match for that paver! Ask the drunk who hit it when the HyperFix was in progress...)
Anyway, he was working on a pipeline, and in order to clear the pipe of debris, they shoot a steel ball, called a pig, through it. Well, one day, they were applying pressure, and the pig didn't appear out the other end as scheduled. More water pressure was sent. Finally, 2 superintendents, a state man, and one of the guys on the crew went to investigate. Just as they reached the exit pipe, and stood, scratching their heads, wondering if they were going to have to start disconnecting the pipe in order to find the blockage, the pig broke through. Water spurted; one guy fell down; two ran into each other and fell down; the others scattered! D said it looked like a scene from the Keystone Cops, and of course, this was back in the early 90's, when camera phones were yet to be invented...and no video cameras on site!
Occupation: At the time, I was working at a country club in central Indiana. This is one of my all-time favorite stories, and I've been told it shows my people skills with teens...
I was popular with the younger kids, mainly because I was good at fixing milkshakes and took the time to ask them about school, friends, etc. I was also good at remembering details, such as which kid liked a lot of cherries in their kiddie coctails, and who liked Sprite instead of Coke, or even on child, who preferred chicken fingers over the Sunday Buffet.
One day, one of the girls was having trouble deciding which ice cream/sherbert to order with her fruit plate, so I told her I'd surprise her. This girl was on the shy side, and her face always lit up when she saw me.
Anyway, one day, I was working a private party and all the girls were seated at the same table. Some of the more popular girls came to me complaining.
"Molly, we don't want to sit with (shy girl)! She's weird!"
"You all go to the same school, don't you?" (Nods) "Well, your mothers like each other, and you only have to put up with her for an hour during dinner. Surely you can be polite for an hour?"
Grumbling, they agreed, and returned to the table.
I took their order and every single girl ordered the fruit plate (I should stress these were 13 and 14 year olds!), and I saved my girl's order for last. The others specified the ice cream they wanted, and when I got to Shy Girl, I simply winked and asked, "Your usual?" She nodded, smiling brightly, and I returned to the kitchen.
When it was time to serve, I again saved hers for last. And when I placed it in front of her, there were gasps from the others. "Why does she get all that? You didn't tell us we could do that!"
I simply put my arm on her shoulder and calmly stated she was one of my special friends, who was polite to others, and therefore received special treatment. If they wanted to join my select group, they could show me their manners as well.
The surprise? I had used the tiny scoop and dished up smaller scoops of various flavors, saving Rainbow Sherbert to put on the top.
And during the rest of the party, I noticed a distinct change in the other girls' attitudes!
Who says you can't make a difference in a lowly job?